It’s never been easier to sell products to customers all around the world. The internet age coupled with ever-improving distribution and payment processors means that you can sell your products quickly and simply, as well as having the item shipped within hours.
But be warned, eCommerce is a crowded industry, and business owners need to have their wits about them to thrive in such a competitive marketplace. There are plenty of challenges to hurdle and bridges to cross that may not have been immediately obvious when formulating your ideas.
Fortunately, we’ve gone to the trouble of highlighting three very notable aspects of starting an eCommerce store that may not have sprung to mind immediately. But remember, it’s your product that sells – if you have a good idea, then you’re on the path to success already – the rest of your work is simply to get your USP under the noses of the right target audience.
Many eCommerce site owners are firm believers in the purchasing funnel, which charts the process in from attracting a potential customer’s interest all the way through to the completion of a sale.
This process is extremely important for online stores because it focuses on all the exponents involved in the experience for visitors on your site, and requires businesses to look at the usability of your pages.
According to Baymard Institute, almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts without purchasing due to one or more reasons. For instance, 60% of 1,799 respondents said that the primary reason for leaving the website without making a purchase are extra costs (e.g. taxes and shipping):
To run a slick and simple purchasing funnel, you’ll need to ensure that your website is fast, well connected with no broken links, and accommodating for both new and returning customers.
Make sure that your eCommerce store isn’t too data-heavy to load efficiently, or else you’ll get bouncebacks where customers have given up due to the unresponsiveness of your pages. Compress your product photos online so that they’re a fraction of the size and make sure your domain registrar has servers that are well positioned for visitors in all the locations you’re looking to market to.
Another stumbling block for customers is an overly inquisitive checkout process. Having a website that requires visitors to give up too many personal and seemingly irrelevant details may help for retargeting purposes, but may be off-putting to someone who simply wants to make a fast purchase. Be sure to add a ‘checkout as guest’ option, or the choice of a simple path towards completing a purchase.
Remember that many shoppers will be keen on making a purchase without too many complications or criteria to fill – be accommodating to everyone during the checkout process.
Picking the right payment processor
Payment processors are often overlooked until the last minute when setting up an eCommerce store, and all too many owners hold the belief that they all do the same job – with the same associated costs.
However, some processors offer an all-inclusive website service like Shopify, while other specialist companies Klarna are dedicated to providing a superior consumer experience as soon as they visit your site.
Amazon Pay also brings a different approach to typical payment processors with seamless integration with just about every eCommerce platform around. It also boasts the added perk of being one of the most recognisable names online and offers a service that’s capable of competing with the best in the field.
Different payment processors will benefit different types of eCommerce stores, so it pays to do your homework and compare your options. Just remember to bear in mind the needs of your target customers and the level of compatibility you’ll need with your operations and pages.
Make sure you’re multi-channel
The cornerstone for eCommerce success lies in making sure that your website can be reached by anyone, from anywhere, browsing in any way they choose.
In this sense, optimising your website for access via mobile phone, tablet and a multitude of operating systems is vital.
If your website runs perfectly on a Windows computer running Internet Explorer then great, but how about an Apple Mac user browsing on Google Chrome? Or shoppers running Linux?
Be sure to run tests on how your website appears on different devices to ensure that all visitors have an equally pleasant shopping experience. Services like Screenfly from QuirkTools is very useful in testing your website resolutions from a range of portable devices and monitors.
Accelerated Mobile Pages are also imperative in bringing a swift and easy experience into the screens of everyone, regardless of whether they’re browsing on the commute to work or on a tablet at home. PowerMapper is a website that’s dedicated to running free tests to check if your website is easily accessible for visitors using a range of old and new operating systems from a multitude of providers.
Bio: Dmytro is a CEO at Solvid and founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup that uses AI and Machine Learning to forecast web traffic, monitor vital metrics and set visual traffic aims. Dmytro’s work has been featured in various publications, including Entrepreneur.com, TechRadar, Bitcoin.com, Huff Post, The Next Web, B2C, and ReadWrite.